A few months ago Ray’s company was hired to provide sound equipment and photography for a gospel concert at Daystar University’s Athi River campus. This campus is unique for various reasons, but I’d say the greatest reason is probably the fact that it’s in the middle of a game reserve. Even as we drove up to the campus that day, we were greeted by herds of wildebeest and zebra.
There was one particular zebra beside the road that stopped to stare at us as we stared at him.
That zebra, in all its striped majesty possessed the power required to lift me out of out what was quickly developing into a foul mood.
TIA strikes again
See, Ray and I live in a town called Ongata Rongai. With little to no traffic on the road, it’s about half an hour away from Nairobi city. If you leave at the wrong time though, you could be sitting in traffic for an hour or two. That morning Ray’s co-workers were supposed to pick me up and bring me to meet Ray in town. They came on time, we arrived at the rendezvous point, and everything was going according to schedule until… TIA. We ended up sitting in a hot car and waiting for at least two hours before all the other guys showed up.
Aching head? Check.
Sweaty pits? Check.
Growling stomach? Check.
We hadn’t even begun the 40 km drive yet! And fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Subway do not exist here.
When we finally reached Daystar, the zebra encounter managed to distract me enough to keep me from assuming full Hulk-mode, but thankfully Ray noticed that all too familiar greenish hue beginning to surface on my skin, so he wisely took some time to take me to the campus restaurant. We enjoyed a very tasty dinner together before he had to get to business. Crisis averted.
Lost in translation
This was my first official outing with Ray to one of his jobs, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was hoping that we would get to enjoy it together somehow. We had already had such a lovely dinner together, why let the fact that he was on a job get in the way? If you don’t know already, one of my love languages is quality time, so nothing would have made the night better for me than for Ray to come cuddle up beside me to enjoy the show.
I found a nice bench near the stage and waited for Ray to take care of some preliminary details before joining me. Fluffing my hair and crossing my legs in a “yeah, I’m that guy’s wifey” kind of way, I waited… and waited. Finally he approached.
“Babe, can you hold this bag for me?”
In moments like that it’s very easy for me to be a brat and whine about how he’s not paying attention to me, but then I remembered that not an hour earlier, he had taken time away from setting up with the crew to cater to my needs. The least I could do was comply with his request. Now, one of Ray’s love languages is acts of service, so for me to act like his personal assistant expressed love and support to him in the same way his taking time to eat with me expressed love to me. It sounds simple enough, but not too long after that I found someone to chat with and left his bag of equipment totally unattended. Eventually he took the bag away from me and put it backstage. I had one job to do…
As the night went on and the crowd grew larger, my dull headache quickly spiraled into a stampede of wildebeest back and forth between my temples. Ray was all over the place taking pictures yet coming to check on me periodically, and I was trying to pretend like I was enjoying myself.
Normally in the States you have maybe two or three opening acts before the main act appears on stage, but that night there were no less than ten, closer to twenty different acts and with each act, the crowd got bigger and wilder.
The wildebeest were now frolicking as merrily as the day is long all over my cranial region.
“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” I whispered over and over.
I may have had the Kansas thing going for me, but beige flats does not magic slippers make.
Ray spotted me shriveling in my seat, looking like I wanted to clothesline everyone within a ten yard radius, so he gave his camera to one of the other guys and took me backstage to watch the rest of the show while we cuddled in the corner.
Before the night was over, Ray gave me what I needed most, a little TLC, and I got to redeem myself by carrying some of his stuff to the car before heading out. That night had all the makings of inciting an icy cold car ride home, what with my ridiculously high expectations despite the fact that Ray was supposed to be focused on work, but we made it work.
In the end I got him to hold my hand and he got me to hold his stuff. But we’ve decided that I won’t be attending anymore jobs in the future.
We’ve been learning a lot about the different ways our love languages have created funny, and not so funny, dynamics in our relationship. Anyone else have any interesting love language stories? We’d love to hear them.